EUGENE, Ore. If Cal quarterback Jared Goff has any jitters about his first start on the road, he sure isn't showing it.
Goff was cool about playing No. 2 Oregon in what is sure to be a raucous atmosphere at Autzen Stadium on Saturday night.
"Just a regular game in front of a bunch of crazy people," he said.
The freshman quarterback is having a sensational start to his college career, steering first-year Cal coach Sonny Dykes' "Bear Raid" offense. He leads the nation with 435 passing yards per game.
Goff is second in the Pacific-12 Conference with 1,306 passing yards, and he's completed 61 percent of his passes. In his last game, a 52-34 Cal loss to No. 3 Ohio State on Sept. 14, Goff passed for 371 yards and three touchdowns.
Those numbers impress and concern Oregon coach Mark Helfrich.
"He's playing great. He's been virtually lights out," Helfrich said. "They've done a really good job managing things for him."
Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota, only a sophomore himself, is a seasoned veteran compared to Goff.
Known for his scrambling ability, Mariota is ranked fifth nationally with an average of 384 total yards per game.
He's averaging 296 passing yards in an offense that's scoring 61 points per game.
With both players seeing success with the pass so far, the game is expected to stretch late. Despite Goff's passing prowess, the Bears are 35-point underdogs.
Goff is, as usual, taking it in stride.
"We're going to take it as a challenge and go up there and do what we do every day," he said. "We really feel our offense can score on anybody."
USC Athletic director Pat Haden said he spoke with NCAA President Mark Emmert about the possibility of providing relief from the sanctions that have been weighing down the program since 2010.
The NCAA sanctioned USC after it was discovered that former star running back Reggie Bush received improper benefits. The program's scholarship limit was reduced from 85 to 75. Next season is the last that USC will have to play with the 75-scholarship limit.